Sustainable House Day 2019 was a good opportunity to present this passive solar house in Melbourne's inner North. Fitting well into a street of mainly Californian Bungalows, it combines the generosity of the Californian Bungalow style with the compactness of an energy efficient and affordable passive design.

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This family home aims to reduce operational energy through passive solar and services and minimise embodied energy through compactness and choice of materials.

Passive solar design principles were applied rigorously: zoning, layout, planning, building form, material selection, solar control, cross ventilation and details that reduce thermal bridging. All habitable rooms face north, storage and utility areas face south. The footprint is smaller than that of similar homes.

The materials were chosen for optimum thermal performance and low embodied energy where possible: timber trusses instead of structural steel, recycled brick, FSC certified timbers, double and triple glazed windows and insulated hatches. As a result, the home achieves a rating of 7.4 stars.

The roof is laid out for a 8.7kw Solar PV System, 11,200l of rainwater are connected to garden, WC, laundry, shower and all vanities. Hot water and hydronic underfloor heating rely on heat pumps, there is no gas.

The building is modest but a simple twist in plan, roof overhangs and expressive sunshading give it a generosity like that of a Californian Bungalow.